DIY tabletop Christmas trees meet the need for simple, beautiful, sustainable Christmas decor. Indeed, they can grace your home all winter long. For certain, natural decor and sustainability join top Christmas trends for 2023. You’ll want to set aside a relaxing day to forage, shop a little and craft these tabletop Christmas trees for your home.
Burlap DIY Tabletop Christmas Trees
In this case, we take a spin on the DIY felt tabletop Christmas tree for a truly natural look using burlap.
- Sheet of paper, 8 1/2 x 11 inches
- Straight pins, 2 or 3
- Glue gun & sticks
- Wood disc about 1 1/2 inches in diameter (You can choose your thickness. I glued three 1/2-inch-thick discs together. You can purchase pre-drilled discs or drill a whole the width of your branch in the center of a home-cut disc.)
- Branch about 12 inches in length
- Burlap, 1/2 yard, more if making multiple trees
- First, fold the sheet of paper in half horizontally.
- Second, starting at one end of the fold, cut out a 4-section Christmas tree with no trunk. For certain, each segment should be a little longer than the one before it (top to bottom). If you’re not comfortable cutting your own tree pattern, you can download a free Christmas tree template, print it and adapt it for your use. I couldn’t find a template with deep enough branches for my liking so I decided to cut my own.
- Now keep the paper pattern folded. Fold the burlap, line up the folds of the pattern and burlap and pin them together. Afterwards, trim around the edge of the pattern to cut out a burlap tree. Repeat 11 times for a total of 12 flat burlap flat trees.
- Then one at a time, fold a burlap tree in half, run hot glue along the fold and press it onto the branch. At any rate, be sure the burlap is above the top of the branch by about an inch. Repeat until all the burlap cutouts are in place. Take your time as each piece will need several seconds to adhere to the branch.
- Finally, glue the bottom of the branch into the hole in the center of the disc.
DIY Christmas Tree from a Book
Without a doubt, the idea of taking a book apart to repurpose it will not appeal to all book lovers. I was okay, however, with picking up a $1.25 paperback at Dollar Tree for this project. And yes, I caught myself reading a paragraph or two here and there as I worked. In truth, I found the subject matter and viewpoint disagreeable, which made repurposing the book less painful. 😉
If you ever made angels from Reader’s Digest magazines, this tree-from-a-book is for you! And all things considered, I’d say the tree is more appealing than the angel. That is, of course, unless you are a fan of all things vintage. In any event, let’s get started with the second of our three DIY tabletop Christmas trees.
To point out, we’d like to credit Linda at the New England Fine Living blog for taking the idea of book folding a step further with her mad scissor skills. 🙂 We took it from there with tea-dying and jute garlands.
Getting Started with Your DIY Tabletop Christmas Tree from a Book
- Paperback book (about 100 pages or 200 pages reading length)
- Tea bag
- Glass measuring cup
- Water, 1/2 cup
- Spray bottle, small
- Roll of twisted jute twine
- Round wood bead, 1/2 to 5/8 inches in diameter
- Glue gun & glue sticks
- First, remove the cover from the paperback book.
- Second, fold the bottom corner of each page up to the center of the book and crease.
- Third, bring the folded right edge to the center of the book and fold and crease.
4. Fourth, repeat steps 2 and 3 for each page of the book. Additionally, stop every few pages and trim the page tails off to create a flat bottom.
5. Fifth, trim off (1/4 inch or less) the folded outer edges of the pages. You should be able to trim two or three edges in the same cut. To clarify, trim pages up almost to where the text ends. If you trim too far, many pages will loosen and fall off. (Overall, it’s okay to lose up to about a dozen pages; you just don’t want to lose too many.)
6. Sixth, working bottom to top with a few pages at a time, make several scissor cuts upward toward the spine in each page group. You can also make some random horizontal cuts. At this point, keep in mind that there is no pattern to follow here; work freely.
7. To finish the tree form, rake your fingers throughout the tree to separate and fluff the tree. Equally important, pinch and bend the paper, too, to establish dimension.
Finishing Touches for Your Tree
6. Now steep the tea bag and water in the spray bottle for at least 5 minutes.
7. Then, working on a protected surface or surface that can’t be damaged by the tea, spray the entire tree twice to make sure you don’t miss any spots. Afterward, let it partially dry for an hour or two.
8. Finally, cut seven 10-inch lengths of twine. As they come off the roll, the lengths should have a soft curl.
9. Lastly, glue one end of each length of twine to the top center of the tree, spacing the twine lengths evenly down and around the tree. After that, trim the twine lengths to the same or varying lengths. Now glue the bead to the top.
Your display options are endless. For example, we turned a pillar candle holder upside down to serve as an elevated base for the tree.
Horsetail-Rush DIY Tabletop Nativity Tree
If you’d like to add a little ambience to your Nativity display, our horsetail-rush DIY tabletop Nativity tree is for you. One disclaimer: In short, our horsetail-rush tabletop Nativity tree won’t look like any particular specie of tree that actually grows in the Holy Land. Given that, I like to think it looks like something that COULD grow there. 😉
Horsetail rush, a non-flowering evergreen perennial, grows in a variety of locations. However it prefers the wet soil of ditches and swamps. As a result, it’s right at home in rural Michigan and easy to harvest if you don’t mind a little mud. By all means, I don’t recommend you bring horsetail rush home to your garden because of it’s aggressive, invasive nature. Unless, of course, you are committed to containing it. To this end, you can pot the plant and then plant the pot in the ground for containment. I do find it very attractive with it’s deep green stems, white and black rings at segments divisions, and finial-like cone at the top.
- birch or other wood 1/2-inch disc
- glue gun and glue sticks
- at least one dozen horsetail rushes
- First, cut your birch discs unless you have pre-purchased some.
- Precut a few horsetail rushes to a length of 11 inches, and a handful of them around 9 and 10 inches long. In brief, these will form the center framework of the tree; you can cut additional lengths one at a time as you continue.
- Now complete the framework of the tree, gluing rushes straight up and down in a circular pattern around the center of the birch disc until it is covered. To be sure, use shorter lengths as you work out from the center. (The shortest rushes will be 4 1/2 to 5 inches long at the outer edge.)
- Fill in spaces between the attached stems with additional rushes (longer lengths nearer the interior of the tree and shorter lengths nearer the outside).
- Last of all, trim the rushes to shape the tree.
- Finally, gently scatter preserved Spanish moss (natural color) throughout the tree. Additionally, run a little hot glue across the outer edges if you wish to better secure the moss.